A New Alpha
A New Leader
The moon shone silently on a large quartz crystal, reflecting off the smaller assortment of crystals, making the water pool under it shine with blue, red and green. The light of the crystals lit up the cave, making it easy to see through the whole cavern. The perfect assortment of colors was suddenly flawed by a small shadow, followed by a still smaller shadow. The silence was abruptly ended by the pattering of paws and the brush of fur on stone. A small, ginger she-wolf with a black chest, tail and paws sat by the pool of water, looking down into it. A smaller blue-grey wolf sat by her. The blue-grey wolf looked up at her, his icy blue stare seeming to pierce through the she-wolf, and whispered, “Star, are you sure you want to do this at such a young age? Geco didn’t expect to die so early, and he appointed you as deputy so young because he didn’t know he only had days to live.”
Star’s hazel eyes glared at him angrily as she snapped, “Who else, Water? I can’t pick some other wolf, it’s my duty to replace him, young or not.”
They sat in uncomfortable silence for a heartbeat, and then Water nodded. “Forgive me, Star.” He stood up and backed away respectfully.
Star sighed and plunged herself into the water, shivering at the burning, tingling sensation that washed over her. Suddenly, everything was dry. She looked up to see around fifty glowing wolves looking at her forlornly. A large brown wolf with a black muzzle and green eyes stepped in front of her. Star nodded, “Greetings, Geco.”
Geco nodded back and laid his paw over her head. “With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, I give you a life of knowledge. Use my gift to guide your clan down the right path to respect from the other clan.”
A sickening feeling flashed through Star’s small frame. She gasped in pain, and then felt another paw on her head replace the first. She looked up to see a small, white she-wolf. “Mother!” She exclained.
Her mother’s smooth voice rang out, comforting Star. “With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, I give you a life of care. Care for your clan as if they were your own pups.”
A jolt ran through Star’s heart, making her want to cry. She gritted her teeth and looked up and around. A familiar orange she-wolf walked up to her. “Sun!” She gasped.
Sun smiled and placed her paw over Star’s head. “With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, I give you a life of courage. Face the biggest challenge, battle the strongest warrior for your clan.”
Star’s breath left her in a rush and she stared out among the wolves, waiting or the pain to ebb away. A large black and grey wolf padded up to her. “Raven! Brother!” She cried.
Raven showed no emotion, just placed his paw over her head. ” With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, I give you a life of faith. Believe in us and your warriors through the bad and good.”
Star felt as if she was being compressed into a tiny ball of ginger fur. She gasped and fell over, but quickly sprang back up, hitting a paw. She saw grey-brown paws and looked up shamefully. Somehow she knew it was Swamp, the first Swamp Pack leader. ”With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, I give you a life of strength. Use it to protect the elders and pups. “
Star felt as if she was being stretched a thousand fox-lengths, then snapped back together. She coughed, gritting her teeth, not wanting to look up.
She felt a heavy paw on her head and a gravelly voice spoke. She knew it was the medicine wolf before Water, Rock. “With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, I give you a life of hope. Show your clan to hope with my gift.”
She tensed, ready for pain, but was rewarded with only a soft, constant jolt. She looked up to see two white she-wolfs step up to her. “Cloud! Snow!” She whispered, happy to see her sisters.
They nodded and placed their paws on her ears, Snow to her left and Cloud on her right. “With the power of Swamp Pack’s ancestors, we give you a life of love.” They chorused. “Love your enemies, even when they do not love you.”
Star felt immense pain tearing through her heart as she received her eighth and ninth lives. All the glowing wolves lifted their sparkling muzzles to the sky and cheered, “Star!”
Star smiled and purred as the calls faded away. Suddenly, she was wet again. She choked on water and churned her paws, seeing the giant quartz crystal’s light up above her. She broke surface and swam to the side of the pool, pulling herself out. She looked up, dripping wet and shivering, to see Water staring at her. He smiled at her. “Hello, Star.”
Star smiled back and flicked her tail; a sign that is was time to go back to camp. Water nodded and padded after her, their pawsteps fading into the darkness. The beautiful cave was once more silent and still, as it had been for thousands of years before, and will be for thousands more.